At long last, the Monkey and Al from ITV Digital fame have returned to our screens! ‘The Return’ features Monkey and Johnny Vegas in a new campaign as the faces of PG Tips. Directed by Danny Kleinman through Rattling Stick for Mother, our favourite TV stars re-unite over a brew in Al’s kitchen.
‘The Return’ opens with the knitted star tuning up at AI’s house late one rainy night. After an initially frosty reception, in which he is berated for leaving his friend when he needed him most (when the “telly thing” went belly up). Dirty from his long nights trucking, Monkey is popped in the washing machine and treated to a cuppa, over which he and AI plot their advertising comeback.
To bring Monkey to life puppeteers were used during the shoot for all the Monkey scenes, and therefore there were puppeteers in every shot. The main challenge for lead flame Judy Roberts and The Mill London team were the extensive puppeteer and rig removal shots. All shadows and a number of backgrounds were rebuilt in flame for the kitchen night scenes – lightening and rain effects were also recreated for these shots.
For the outside ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§monkey on front of lorry’s truck shot The Mill team added a 3D background in order to create headlights, an effective background and atmosphere. The kitchen table scenes were very time consuming due to puppeteer removal and the 3D monkey legs that had to be built. Parts of the floor were also replaced in 3D where the puppeteers once stood.
Stills were taken for all views seen through all windows and composited in flame which was then colour corrected in the grade. For the rainy night shots rain effects were created on real window panes and the street light effects were added all in flame.
Senior colourist Mick Vincent graded the film in Spirit.
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